Today’s Solutions: January 30, 2023

Looking at our phones, driving, and adjusting to new work from home set-ups can all take a toll on our posture. Most of us could do with improved posture, but changing the way you sit is no easy task. Here are three of the most common bad posture habits and exercises to correct these back-bending culprits. Don’t worry, you won’t have to balance books on your head!

1. Looking down at your phone: In addition to holding your phone up closer to chin-level, try using a foam roller or rolled-up towels to stretch out your neck and back. Lay on the roller or towels length-wise with your arms out to each side in a “goal post” formation, elbows bent. Keeping your elbows bent, bring your arms up so your fingertips touch above your head and then back down. 

Another exercise to correct this posture habit is lunge rows. Lunge with one foot in front and the other behind and hinge at the hips with a flat back. Using light weights, draw your shoulder blades together, pulling the weights up to your chest. Be sure to keep your neck and back in a straight line. 

2. Looking down at a low computer monitor: Working from home can be tough on your backs, but raising your computer monitor up to eye level should take that strain off your neck and back. To stretch out your neck after a long day, sit in a chair with a straight back and tilt your head to the left and right, connecting each with your corresponding shoulder. This will stretch your neck and trapezius muscle. 

For deeper posture correction, sit in the same position in your chair, but draw your head forward until you feel the back-neck muscles activate. Hold this for 30-60 seconds then rest. 

3. General slump: This is the hardest posture habit to correct because we do it most regularly. A general slump can happen anytime we sit, watch tv, eat, drive, or read. Practice drawing your shoulder blades back like you have a string pulling the top of your head while sitting. Stretch by interlacing your fingers behind you back and lifting your arms until you feel a deep stretch across your chest.

For a deeper corrective exercise, try bent-over reverse flies. Using the same lunge position as described above, keep your back straight and lift arms directly out away from you holding light weights. 

Most of us struggle with poor posture, but taking note of which activities are your biggest poor posture culprits and practicing daily exercises to improve will lead to improved long term neck and back health.

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